Darlington Mp 41 v Crusaders 10

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Saturday 17th January 2009

We travelled to Mowden Park again having visited them just 6 weeks ago when we handsonely by 29 pts without reply.  The difference this time was that we never really “got off the bus”.  For the first quarter of the game Crusaders were the better team and it looked like we might do the double over MP.  Both sides tried to play rugby on a quagmire of a pitch and although down at half time the indications were it was going to remain a close match.

In the early exchanges of the second half we really did go to sleep, lost concentration. and allowed MP to run in three easy tries.  We did play well in patches but it was the hosts who played the conditions well and kept their forwards on the front foot by putting in long intelligent kicks, and playing the game in the Carlisle 22, while a lot of our efforts were kicked to hand which allowed MP an attacking platform.

Carlisle did rally and applied more pressure in the last 20 minutes, which resulted in a try from Matt Rogers.  The pack performed well enough in the set piece but the rucking is in need of improvement.  Tom Armstrong had a good game from centre and did produce some storming runs, punching holes in the home defence but the support was not always up with him.

This was game we could have won had we played up a bit more “up your jumper” rugby.  After the game the referee summed it all up when he said, “on a good pitch on a dry day the result would have probably been quite different”!